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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fear of Homelessness Continues to Keep Sellers From Listing Their Homes

[Published July 17, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section. An abbreviated version also appeared in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers.]

What would you do? You can sell your home for a really good price right now, but can you find a home to buy? 

This dilemma is probably the main reason why more sellers are not putting their homes on the market. And with the supply of rentals equally tight, the prospect of being homeless — or settling for a home that doesn’t meet your needs or expectations — is a totally rational reason to sit tight. 

I find that those sellers who “pull the trigger” are ones who, for the most part, have been able to overcome this dilemma one way or another.

One strategy that works when you own your current home free and clear is to take out a loan on your current home so you can buy your new home, and only then put your current home on the market, paying off that loan when you sell.

Others who believe they’ll find the perfect home to buy within a few months find a short-term housing solution such as living with family or signing a short-term lease. (A client of mine found a complex in Golden that offers a 3-month lease.)

Moving twice is no fun for anyone, but using “pods” can make it a little easier. Such services will deliver one or more containers to your driveway. You fill them at your leisure and then the company removes them to a storage location, delivering them to your new home when you find it.  This beats moving everything into a storage unit and then having to move it from the storage unit to the new home.

If this concern of being without a place to live after selling is facing you, remember that you are in the driver’s seat when selling your current home. If you price your home correctly, you’ll get multiple offers and be able to select the buyer who not only offers you the best price but also offers you the most flexibility. 

That flexibility could take the form of a rent-back for up to several months as you work to find your new home.  At the very least, you can choose the buyer who gives you the longest contract period, but puts all their contingencies — inspection and appraisal, in particular — in the first 30 days of the contract.  Then you might have a provision that the closing can happen earlier if you find your next home quickly.

I’ve had clients who found a home they wanted to buy first, and then put their home on the market quickly — something we’re pretty good at — and were able to have their home under contract in time to make a winning offer on the home they wanted to buy.  In such cases, we’re able to tell the seller that if they don’t get their home under contract in time to buy that “perfect” home, we are willing to withdraw their home from the market at no cost so that they don’t have to sell.  That’s a lot of work for us with no reward, but that’s the nature of our business. 

If you want to sell but have this totally understandable concern, I suggest you call me or one of my associates at Golden Real Estate so that we can brainstorm a solution that works best for you.  You have nothing to lose but your time!  Our office number is 303-302-3636.

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